Research course

Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

University of Portsmouth · School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to face-to-face or telephone interview.

English Literature requires English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5. Other subject areas require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Why take this course?

Research in history, politics and social studies takes place under the umbrella of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) at the University of Portsmouth. We are particularly proud of our well-developed research culture and strong commitment to scholarship and publication, and our research was rated 'top in the UK' according to the Research Power Index compiled by the prestigious journal Research Fortnight. Based in a grade II listed building of historic significance, at the heart of the Central University campus, we offer excellent higher degree supervision by internationally recognised academic staff in all of our subject areas.


CEISR brings together more than 60 researchers and 20 postgraduates from across the University. The Centre offers a vibrant, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment within which to pursue research. Activities have been funded by major UK and European research councils, including the AHRC, ESF, ESRC, EU, UNESCO, the British Academy and various NGOs.

At CEISR, we welcome linguists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and specialists in area studies, as they undertake interdisciplinary research in disciplines across the humanities, social sciences and arts. Under the CEISR umbrella, researchers are grouped into research clusters which include: Francophone Africa, International Development Studies and Security Issues, Language Across Borders, Social and Cultural History, Sociology and Social Theory, Transnational Europe, Women's and Gender Studies.

Module Details


History at the University of Portsmouth is a distinctive field in which the comprehension of the past, and an awareness of the processes of social change, combine to create a stronger understanding of our present. Research areas include:

  • War, revolution and religious persecution
  • Gender/Women's History
  • Leisure activity
  • Political use of heritage


Sociology's long-standing interest in the complexity of social life and the multiple respects in which social institutions, structures, and processes influence conduct makes it vital for understanding the pressing issues of our times.

Research areas include:

  • Classical and contemporary social thought
  • Consumption and the environment
  • Food and drink
  • Emotions, happiness and wellbeing
  • Culture, class, taste and aesthetics
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race, ethnicity, citizenship, and nationalism
  • Globalization, inequality and protest movements
  • Sociology of economic life, work and employment
  • The cultural economy of sport
  • Violence, war, militarism, and the body


We are interested in politics and international relations at different levels of government and governance:

  • United Kingdom and the European Union
  • Other world regions (e.g. post-Soviet Space, US)

We study the contestation of political issues by:

  • International and regional integration organisations
  • States, political parties, societal actors and networks

We explore themes including:

  • Globalisation, risk, terrorism, foreign and security policy
  • Migration and citizenship
  • Political leadership

Student Destinations

Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Fees and funding

UK students
full-time students: £TBC p/a, part-time students: £TBC p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
International full-time students: £13,200 p/a* International part-time students: £6,600 p/a* *All fees are subject to annual increase

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
24 months


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566